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in Fruit & veg
Is it recommended to pinch out the growing tips of broad beans?
Hi Russell, only when they are fully grown (ie about 3-4ft tall) and that is only to prevent blackfly infestation. I usually wait until one plant has a sign of blackfly, then pinch out the tips of them all.
No sign of blackfly here in coastal West Wales, as yet! BUT no sign of any pollinators either - my raised bed of overwintered 'Acuadulce' have had flowers on them since early April but nary sign of embryonic pods forming as expected. Warmer weather & "damping down" at dusk may help, says my learned (venerable) neighbour, so we can but try??
Mine are flowering too - I've given the ground a good soaking as it's very dry - and I'll be fleecing them tomorrow night as we've been promised -2C
hi does pinching out the tip stop black fly.
I pinched out all the tips of mine last year and had no problems at all
Don't forget that if you do take out the tops of your broad beans, you can cook and eat them - delicious steamed with a little butter
Meh, I've got too many other things to eat, Dove. BBs are like peas, beans, etc. They need plenty of water when they're flowering. I planted mine last November and sort of forgot about them. Went to have a look, found tons of flowers but very dry soil. A couple of good soakings and now there are pods all over the place.
Thanks for all the advice
Hi Italophile - I watered mine yesterday evening after a fortnight of dry weather - it's been raining ever since
This is my first time growing BBs - I didn't realise I could plant them out yet! I'm on the edge of Salisbury Plain and we get strong winds (probably created by the army manoeuvres!) but I can shelter them, from the wind not the sun. We're supposedly getting almost down to freezing, if not frost, tonight - aren't they likely to get frost-bite? or do we fleece them up?
Hi SS, Broad beans are fully hardy and some varieties can be planted in the autumn and will survive everything the winter can throw at them. Do 'harden them off' before planting out though by putting the plants out during the day and bringing them in at night, for about a week. Good idea to protect them from the wind, especially when they get taller.